SLSDA, Right Health discuss enhancing health services for blue-collared workers -- UPDATE

SHARJAH, 1st March, 2018 (WAM) -- In an endeavour to enhance the working conditions for the Emirate of Sharjah, the Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority (SLSDA) held a meeting on Monday with Right Health, the biggest entity in healthcare for blue-collared workers in the UAE.

The meeting was held in the presence of Salem Youssef Al Qaseer, Chairman of the Sharjah Labour Standard Development Authority, Shainoor Khoja, Chief Impact Officer of Right Health , Karan Yadav, Chief Strategy Officer at Foundation Holdings, Elizabeth Sen, Chief Client Officer for the Arab region at APCO Worldwide, Omar Al-Sharji, Director of the Department of Institutional Support and Communication and Omar Al-Salman, Acting Head of Standards Development. While the two parties discussed several issues surrounding the workforce in the region, they also outlined strategies to develop the health services provided to the blue-collared workers in Sharjah and ways to upgrade the service.

The meeting was organized by APCO Worldwide and discussed several other areas for developing cooperation between the two parties, which would not only provide enhanced health services to workers at nominal prices, but also promote health awareness and the culture of preventive healthcare in workers' places of residence through field visits and engaging activities. Additionally, both the institutional groups also agreed on the need to provide free medical examinations for workers periodically and to preserve public safety in the community.

The two parties also discussed ideas to execute specialised studies for establishing health complexes consisting of hospitals, centers, pharmacies and specialised clinics, near the workers' residence. The aim of the specialised study is to provide all the services the workers’ need as well as utilise the previous surveys to identify the most prominent symptoms and health issues concerning the workforce. The studies will also facilitate ways to introduce prevention measures through coordination with employers and concerned parties, with the aim of creating a safe and healthy environment for the workers.

In this context, Salem Yousef Al Qaseer affirmed that UAE labor laws are part of a system of laws and regulations developed by our wise leadership for the protection of human rights. He said: "Providing an ideal working environment in Sharjah is a long-term goal of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. This is to ensure that the emirate remains an attractive environment for both employers and workers. Hence, we at Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority, we strive in coordination with all stakeholders, to ensure development of world-class facilities and communities for workers, as we recognise the important role they play in building the architectural renaissance which Sharjah is known for."

He added: "The provision of health services for the workers is one of the most important goals that we seek to achieve on ground, ensuring that all needs of this group are met to certify that they are in good health and can continue to live and work in comfortable living conditions. This comes as part our belief that the health of the worker not only helps raise productivity, but also reflects the vibrant and fulfilling life experienced by Sharjah and the UAE in general.

Al Qaseer explained that the meeting with Right Health was positive. He said: "We are proud of our relationship with the Right Health, which is aptly capable of providing a variety of health services within the reach of the workers. The meeting was a good brainstorming session which facilitated sound ideas and suggestions to develop an integrated system capable of serving the workers and providing the required health services that are in close proximity to where they live."

Shainoor Khoja, Chief Impact Officer of Right Health said, "We have a strong relationship with Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority, which over the years has translated into a clear strategy to support and provide the workers with a variety of health services. While the meeting was a great platform to discuss strategies and solutions for workers’ welfare, it also highlights Sharjah's keenness to comply with the laws and legislation guaranteeing human and labour rights. At Right Health, we are fully aligned with the UAE Vision 2021, which seeks to guarantee quality healthcare for all. In this respect, while the officials from the Authority were briefed on the capabilities of Right Health and the nature of the services that can be provided to the workers, it also set a stage to ensure how both parties can work together to offer a healthy environment for the workers, considering that these groups are originally from multinational communities. This also calls for joint cooperation with the Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority to create an ideal healthy environment that can accommodate all categories of workers."

Right Health is the UAE’s largest and fastest-growing value healthcare organization, with a network of 31 medical and health service providers. Right Health includes a range of clinics, pharmacies, diagnostic centers and a drug store, that are already operational and serve a combined total of approximately 450,000 patients. Additionally, it also already conducts 150,000 lab tests annuallyand has over 200 medical and administrative staff on its rolls 

WAM/Rola Alghoul/MOHD AAMIR